Feed for older mare - do I need to change it?

TheOldTrout

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My mare is 23 and in light work. She had a dental check yesterday and the dentist mentioned a loose tooth that she might have to take out at mare's next appointment, and that got me wondering whether I should change mare's feed to something softer. Currently she has conditioning cubes (Spillers) and alfalfa (Dengies), with carrots and sometimes apples as treats. She is doing well on this.
She lives out 24 h a day in summer and comes in at night in the winter.
 

meleeka

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If she’s eating well and it’s not broke, then I don’t think you need to fix it. If you find she’s taking a long time to eat, or she starts quidding, you could swap the alfalfa for a softer chaff. My ancient mare has Alfalfa, but only a very small amount mixed with her mash. She wouldn’t be able to eat it otherwise, or if I just gave mash oh it’s own, she’d bolt it down too quickly.
 

TheOldTrout

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If she’s eating well and it’s not broke, then I don’t think you need to fix it. If you find she’s taking a long time to eat, or she starts quidding, you could swap the alfalfa for a softer chaff. My ancient mare has Alfalfa, but only a very small amount mixed with her mash. She wouldn’t be able to eat it otherwise, or if I just gave mash oh it’s own, she’d bolt it down too quickly.
Thanks. She is eating well and without any problems. She's my first horse, so I'm always worrying if I'm doing the right thing with her!
 

Midlifecrisis

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My 23year old mare has loose teeth..but you wouldn’t know it..she is well covered and eats hay and grass etc. I ll worry if hay goes untouched and weight drops drastically.
 

HashRouge

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If she's doing well on it I would change it. I had to stop feeding any kind of chaff eventually as my elderly mare has diastema and chaff was getting caught in the gaps and is a bit rough for sensitive gums.
 

Sussexbythesea

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My 26yr old I’ve had to change what he was fed because he started dropping weight last summer when the grass was poor. He’s on Saracen Releve and soaked conditioning cubes plus extra micronised linseed. Over winter he had Equijewel too. This year he’s really started to struggle with hay so now feeding a hay replacer too if he’s in. I don’t bother with chaff anymore as it’s hard to chew and has little nutritional value.

If yours is doing well I’d carry on as you are but keep a close eye and tweak. I was really keen to nip any weight-loss in the bud as felt it could easily turn into a downward spiral. I also want to keep his muscles in good shape. He’s still hacked up to a couple of hours 3-4 times a week and looks great for his age. Also does a bit of veteran and fun showing too.
 

TheOldTrout

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Thanks everyone. She seems to be doing well at the moment, especially now that the grass is coming through, so I won't change but will keep monitoring her. :)
 
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